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Springbok and All Black stars carded in crunch Japan Rugby League One clash

By Ben Smith
(Source/J Sports)

Springboks and All Blacks featured heavily in Saturday’s action in Japan Rugby League One when Shizuoka Blue Revs faced Suntory Sungoliath in the day’s big fixture.

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All Blacks captain Sam Cane opened the scoring when he peeled down the blindside from a rolling maul to score a try for the Sungoliath.

The Sungoliath mounted a comeback twice to hold on for a 29-25 win which propelled them into second place in the league.

Springboks flanker Kwagga Smith went one-on-one with his teammate Cheslin Kolbe down the left hand side early in the first half but Kolbe was up to the challenge to a make a saving tackle. Smith’s offload went forward and the opportunity went missing.

Points Flow Chart

Tokyo Sungoliath win +4
Time in lead
44
Mins in lead
32
55%
% Of Game In Lead
40%
10%
Possession Last 10 min
90%
0
Points Last 10 min
12

The Blue Revs took the lead 10-5 but a wayward tackle attempt by Smith ended up earning a yellow card after a clash of heads with star Japanese fullback Kotaro Matsushima.

Cane joined the Springbok on the sidelines a short while later after for repeated infringements on the try line, taking a yellow card for the team. The Blues Revs extended the lead to 15-5 heading into the break with the Sungoliath needing to overcome a deficit.

Springbok winger Cheslin Kolbe looked certain to score early in the second half with his trademark right foot step beating Kiwi Malo Tuitama.

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But former All Black and Tongan international Charles Piutau produced a stunning play to punch the ball out of Kolbe’s arms right on the tryline and prevent the score.

The two sides traded tries with a try to fullback Sam Greene keeping the lead for the Blue Revs heading into the final quarter. Another try assist by Greene looked to have sealed the game with an eight point lead 25-17.

Kolbe got another chance with a carbon copy of his first opportunity, this time with Piutau absent he stepped inside Tuitama to coast through and score a classic try with 10 minutes remaining.

The Sungoliath stole the game with two minutes left when they crossed through No 8 Ryuga Hashimoto out wide after moving from touchline to touchline.

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In other Saturday fixtures, Yokohama Canon Eagles defeated BlackRams Tokyo by 24-8 to move into fourth on the ladder and the Panasonic Wild Knights demolished Mitsubishi Sagamihara Dynaboars by 81-21 to remain undefeated atop the standings.

Match Summary

1
Penalty Goals
0
4
Tries
5
1
Conversions
2
0
Drop Goals
0
112
Carries
147
4
Line Breaks
7
10
Turnovers Lost
12
2
Turnovers Won
3
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Comments

4 Comments
A
Alan 180 days ago

Hi take it easy on Sam he is an alright guy and has given his neck for rugby.
How about supporting him a bit instead of kicking him down.
I was always told if you can’t say anything good about a person shut up.

C
Cassius 181 days ago

It is great to see Japanese rugby expanding. Interested dynamics between all these teams sponsored by major companies and contracting top players for top dollars.

C
Coach 181 days ago

He took one for the team this time

P
Pecos 182 days ago

Sam Cane in the bin. What else is new?

Super Rugby Final - yellow card at 70mins, Crusaders then take the lead & win.

RWC2023 Final - red card at 28mins. ABs pushing mud uphill & lose.

Go Sam go.

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